Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
Excellent, really insightful
on September 16, 2011
This is an excellent book that provides tons of insights about the MBA admission process. The author's writing style is very informative. He always conveys a list of key points for everything that makes it easy to remember or refer to the most important information. Early on the author conveys the 22 qualities Bus Schools are looking for. Next, he maps them out elegantly within a four dimension vent diagram (academic, professional, communal, personal). He mentions the 5 objectives of admission officers. At the end of the book, he restates the main 12 key points (if you forget everything remember at least those 12 points).
There is no miracle to getting into a top MBA program. You need the grades (GPA 3.3+), the GMAT scores (690+), the successful working experience. Those are the essentials to make the first cut so your application is not immediately rejected. In essence, that's where the real work begins because there are a lot more candidates (3.3+/690+/strong work exp.) than there are available seats at the top programs.
The author guides you on how to differentiate yourself. It is all about deep introspective analysis (know thyself), and communicating clearly who you are, what is unique about you, how you fit the mission of the school, what are your life goals, why you need an MBA, why are you applying to this specific school. It is all about your communication proficiency in interviews and even more importantly in the essays.
More than half the book is about the essays. Excellent essays with a 690 on the GMAT make for a more competitive application than a 720 with poor essays. The author covers everything about the essay writing techniques including how to address the hardest questions such as writing about your failures. Everyone needs help tackling skillfully such tough writing challenges.
The book is also full of other insights besides essay writing. If you are a strong candidate, apply early even if you have an oversubscribed background (banking, consulting). That's because upon the first deadline, the admission officers are looking strictly for excellence. They will select 45% of the class from this first group. If you are not so strong, but have a background outside the oversubscribed one apply by the second deadline instead. At that time, the admission officers are looking for class balance. They will select another 45% from this second group. Thus, if you are a nonprofit manager you are not competing against consultants, but instead against other candidates with your similar background. Don't bother applying by the third deadline. By this time, the class is already 90% full. Also, don't take the GMAT more than twice. The schools see all the scores. A 700 on the 3d shot may not cut it. Apply to at least 3 but no more than 6 schools. An application is an extensive effort. You don't want to spread your energy to thin and also tire your references with too many requests.
The author provides a lot more information at his website that is mainly free. There, he actually shares with you even what are the class room experiences at different top schools with short videos. This blog also shares tons of resources on essay writings, the latest admission trends at specific schools, and much more. The author is truly a helpful and dedicated expert on this subject.